Posts Tagged As: Texas
July 7th, 2016
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading a coalition of thirteen states in a lawsuit filed against the Obama administration. The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction against directives from the Justice Department and the Education Department which warn that Title IX funding may be withheld from school districts and colleges that discriminate against transgender students. The particular point of contention among conservatives is whether schools can be compelled to make restrooms and changing rooms available to transgender students according to their gender identity:
The coalition, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, has already filed suit against the Obama administration to seek a permanent block of the directive. Wednesday’s request, if approved, would affect not just these states but public schools across the country.
The states filed the case in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas. Harrold Independent School District, just northwest of Wichita Falls, is the official plaintiff on behalf of Texas, but most of the attention in the Lone Star State has fallen on the Fort Worth Independent School District.
There, the superintendent incurred the wrath of Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other Republican leaders for setting local rules that would allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.
Last week, Paxton issued a nonbinding opinion that the new guidelines for transgender students violate state law by relegating “parents to a subordinate status” in being informed about their children. He also said Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner illegally enforced the rules without the school board’s input.
Scribner countered that the school district’s guidelines for transgender students had been approved by the district five years ago, long before the current controversy.
The thirteen states joining the lawsuit are: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
May 25th, 2016
Ali Chaney, 13, wore her shirt to SC Lee Junior High in Copperas Cove, Texas on Monday. The shirt, in rainbow colors, said, “Some people are gay. Get over it.” That message got the eighth-grader, who is gay herself, in trouble.
“I was upset,” she told KCEN-TV. “I mean, when they said that they don’t want that in their school, I was like, you don’t want what in your school? You don’t want gay kids in your school? … The main principal was, like, it’s nothing against you, we just don’t want that so you need to change your shirt.” Ali refused and was sent home.
The Copperas Cove Independent School District released a statement saying: “Our purpose at CCISD is to educate children, first and foremost. According to CCISD’s dress code in the student handbook and code of conduct, clothing that is disruptive to the learning environment based on reactions by other students is prohibited. The student was offered a school shirt to wear and declined.”
The school claimed it enforces its dress code equally, and provided a photo of another shirt that it asked a student to change. But Ali refuted that by providing a photo of a student wearing a T-shirt which suggested that President Obama was a Muslim Communist who “threatens your freedom.” That student was not asked to change shirts.
Ali’s mother filed a complaint with the district.
May 15th, 2016
The Texas Republican Party just wrapped up its state convention after putting its finishing touches on the state party’s platform (PDF). And what a doozy it is, with not just one, but two, bathroom bill-type planks. Also, the GOP renewed its support for sexual orientation conversion therapy, an expansive so-called “religious freedom” bill, and a whole lot of other stuff besides.
The first call for a bathroom bill is filed under the heading of “Strengthening Families, Protecting Life and Promoting Health”:
Gender Identity- We urge the enactment of legislation addressing individuals’ use of bathrooms, showers and locker rooms that correspond with their biologically determined sex.
John Wright reports that this plank was approved by 90 percent of the delegates. Other anti-LGBT planks in that section touch on marriage, support for sexual orientation conversion therapy, and planks on adoption and sex education:
Family and Defense of Marriage- We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between one natural man and one natural woman.
▪ We support withholding jurisdiction from the federal courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage.
▪ We shall not recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse, including granting benefits by political subdivisions.
▪ We urge the legislature to rescind no-fault divorce laws and support covenant marriage.
Overturning Obergefell v. Hodges- We believe this decision, overturning the Texas law prohibiting same sex marriage in Texas, has no basis in the Constitution and should be reversed, returning jurisdiction over the definition of marriage to the states. The Governor and other elected officials of the state of Texas should assert our Tenth Amendment right and reject the Supreme Court ruling.
Homosexuality- Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that has been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nations founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We oppose the granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.
Counseling and Therapy- No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to sexual orientation change efforts for self-motivated youth and adults.
Adoption- We support reducing the time, bureaucracy, and cost of adoption. We oppose mandates that deny mothers a choice in selecting a traditional home for their children. We oppose mandatory open adoption. We oppose any government agency from forcing faith-based adoption or foster care organizations to place children with same-sex couples.
Sex Education- We respect parental authority regarding sex education. We support the teaching of biology of reproduction and abstinence until marriage. We should prohibit entities and their affiliates that contradict our beliefs from conducting sex education and/or teacher training in public schools. We oppose all policies and curriculum that teach alternate lifestyles including homosexuality, transgender and other non-traditional lifestyles as normal.
The second bathroom-bill plank appears under the “Educating our Children” heading:
Facility Utilization- We support public school facilities such as restrooms, locker rooms and
showers being reserved for the use of students based on biological birth gender.
John Wright reports that this plank garnered the support of 93 percent of delegates.
The call for expansive so-called “religious freedom” legislation appears under “Promoting Individual Freedom and Personal Safety”:
Safeguarding Religious Liberties- We affirm that the public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity, and strength. We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the 1st Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state. … We also support vigorously protecting the rights of commercial establishments to refuse to provide any service or product that would infringe upon freedom of conscience of religious expression of the commercial establishments as stated in the 1st Amendment.
Freedom of Conscience- That legislation at the state and federal level be passed that concretely defines public accommodations as originally defined and understood in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that it prohibit any expansion of that legal definition by any federal, state or local law to expand government control to restrict any First Amendment rights; and to proscribe any law that requires any private business or individual to create or provide a custom product or service, or any kind of expressive work, or enter into a contract, or be coerced into any speech that is not their own.
And under “Strengthening the Economy,” there’s this odd entry:
Unnecessary Medical Procedures for Prisoners- We believe no extraordinary medical care such as sex-change operations, hormonal medications, or gender-altering therapies should be provided to prisoners at the expense of the taxpayers.
The rest of the platform is a veritable witches’ brew of conspiracy theories, theocracy and half-baked economic policies, including withdrawing from the World Bank, the W.T.O, the I.M.F. and the United Nations (and “the removal of the United States from United States soil” [sic]), as well as prohibiting the U.N. from levying taxes (because apparently, that’s a thing.) Also they support teaching Creationism, returning prayer and Bible study in the schools, the repeal of the Federal Reserve and a return to the gold standard, building Trump’s “high wall with a wide gate,” abolishing the Minimum Wage, and Benghazi!
On the other hand, they do support Uber, industrial hemp, and “improv(ing) the 2015 Compassionate Use Act to allow doctors to determine the appropriate use of cannabis to prescribed patients.” Because with a platform like this, it’ll take a whole lot more prescribed cannabis to make living in Texas bearable if they get their way.
July 13th, 2015
But Judge DePiazza also wants to continue conducting civil marriage ceremonies and knows that if he conducts opposite-sex marriages that he also must allow same-sex couples the same rights.
So he’s come up with a solution. He’ll offer marriages to same-sex couples, but they have to sign a form that they understand that he is contemptuous towards them and they damn well better not talk to him about it or take any pictures with him in it.
The Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling on June 26, 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges has legalized marriage in all 50 States regardless of gender. The result of this ruling has not changed Judge DePiazza’s personal convictions on marriage, but has changed the way he is now conducting ceremonies. Judge DePiazza will conduct a brief formal declaration of civil marriage ceremony. The ceremony will strictly be a witnessing to the individuals acknowledgement that they want to be married under the laws of this State and be bound to the marriage laws in the State of Texas. A declaration will be read by Judge DePiazza that both parties respond with affirmation.
Judge DePiazza prefers to NOT conduct same-sex ceremonies, but will not decline anyone who chooses to schedule with him.
Obviously this isn’t legal. And surely this judge knows that he’s asking for a lawsuit in federal court, where his chances are zero. Even in Texas.
So I think it’s really just Judge James R. DePiazza being an asshole.
June 26th, 2015
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (GOP) has issued a proclamation to state employees defending their right to deny state services to gay couples.
All state agency heads should ensure that no one acting on behalf of their agency takes any adverse action against any person, as defined in Chapter 311 of the Texas Government Code, on account of the person’s act or refusal to act that is substantially motivated by sincere religious belief. This order applies to any agency decision, including but not limited to granting or denying benefits, managing agency employees, entering or enforcing agency contracts, licensing and permitting decisions, or enforcing state laws and regulations.
In other words, if a state employee has a “sincere religious belief” that your marriage license should be run through the shredder, Abbott thinks that he should do so. If a County Clerk has a “sincere religious belief” that you should be tarred and feathered rather than be allowed to marry, so be it. And if the head of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts refuses to accept your jointly filed tax returns because he has a “sincere religious belief” that same-sex couples aren’t really married, well his rights trump yours.
Of course, this is nonsense.
Undoubtedly individuals in Texas will probably not have to issue licenses. And it will be a hassle. But if a Clerk’s office decides not to comply with federal law, I think that the Clerk will soon discover that their beliefs – or those of their employees – do not outweigh a citizen’s rights. Irrespective of Abbott’s blustering.
June 9th, 2015
Last week we told you of school administrators at Faubian Middle School in McKinney, Texas who disciplined some students wearing “Gay O.K.” t-shirts and then blamed them for the resulting fracas. Now district officials have defended the girls’ right to stand up for fellow gay students. (Buzzfeed)
“We told the campus administration that they should not have asked the students to take off the shirts, or change shirts,” Cody Cunningham, the chief spokesman for McKinney Independent School District, told BuzzFeed News. “We told them that students have every right to wear the shirts.”
Also coming out are further details about the events leading up to the display of support.
The problem began in May, Heiman said, when a seventh grade girl came out as bisexual and a group of boys began harassing her.
“They kept saying rude things to her in the hallways. They would call her ‘dyke’ or ‘fag,'” Heiman said. Even after some of the girls asked the boys to stop, one boy persisted, she added.
When a friend approached the boy in the cafeteria at lunch and asked him to stop, the two took their disagreement to a vice principal, Robert Waite. Heiman said she watched the exchange, in which Waite did not take any action against the boy, but instead mocked the girl to another school staffer, reportedly saying, “This girl’s in charge of school bullying.”
Heiman said Waite made the girl who reported the bullying sit down.
The administrators at Faubian did not inform the district that there had been any bullying at the school. Now an investigation has been initiated.
June 8th, 2015
Texas Governor Greg Abbott will tell you that be absolutely supports traditional marriage and wants to protect that treasured definition. And so will every GOP legislator in that state.
But somehow the legislature managed to end the legislative session without passing any bills that would in any way hinder marriage equality coming to Texas after the Supreme Court rules later this month. And Abbott has now responded to demands that he call a special session for them to do so. (WOAI)
“I do not anticipate any special session,” he told News Radio 1200 WOAI. “They got their job done on time, and don’t require any overtime.”
A cynical soul might conclude that the Texas GOP passed exactly the number of bill protecting traditional marriage that they wanted to pass. None. Such a person might even think that the Texas GOP is far more concerned with the demands of the Texas business community, which has opposed such bills as bad for business, than they are the demands of the Texas Eagle Forum or Americans for Truth About Homosexuality.
June 4th, 2015
A Faubian Middle School in McKinney, Texas, a seventh grade student came out as gay and was subsequently bullied. Several girls in the school decided to take a stance in support of that student.
On the next-to-last day of school about fifteen students wore t-shirts blazed with the message: “Gay O.K.”. But this message was not acceptable to the administrators. (nbcdfw)
“We were doing perfectly fine until lunch,” said Sammy Heiman, a seventh grader who designed the shirts. “And then [the administration] called us all out, all the people wearing them, called us out of the cafeteria.”
And that’s when things got rowdy. The other students in the cafeteria saw what was going on and that the students were being told not to wear the shirts and started chanting “Gay O.K.” One student not wearing the shirt argued with an administrator and knocked a cell phone from their hand.
So, having caused a fracas by forcing the girls to change, the administrators are claiming that they banned the shirts only because they were disruptive.
“In this particular case, a verbal disruption occurred between a large number of students in the cafeteria as a result of the shirts,” said Cody Cunningham, spokesman for the McKinney Independent School District. “This was not a civil debate, but rather yelling and shouting, and [it] alarmed a large number of students.”
“While we respect student free speech, our primary obligation is to ensure a safe and productive learning environment for students in McKinney ISD,” Cunningham added.
See, your shirts caused a disruption when we took away your First Amendment rights.
And, in the worst possible reporting of an event ever, the local news is echoing the administration. “… they were not concerned about what that shirt said, just the results you saw there”.
Of course, there were no “results” until after the administrators called the girls out of the auditorium. So that’s simply a falsehood.
June 2nd, 2015
Fellow Texans, I am proudly standing here to humbly see.
I assure you, and I mean it – Now, who says I don’t speak out as plain as day?
And, fellow Texans, I’m for progress and the flag – long may it fly.
I’m a poor boy, come to greatness. So, it follows that I cannot tell a lie.
Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don’t –
I’ve come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,
Cut a little swathe and lead the people on.
The musical Best Little Whorehouse in Texas parodied the Texas style politician as a good ol’ country boy with the skill of bamboozling the public with words but never quite saying or doing anything concrete. And this past month, life has mirrored art.
For much of May, the legislature in Texas has been in a whirl of rhetoric about the Lone Star State’s autonomy, upstanding morals, and objection to them gays ruining the sanctity of marriage. No less than 23 bills were presented all designed to either hinder gay marriage, derail gay rights, or just insult gay people. But other than one bill, no legislation seemed to get passed.
First there was a big show of whether Republicans could rush through the pile of bills before the deadline or if Democrats could run out the clock before a bill could be passed that would block funds for the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And, whew, it was a squeaker but the clock ran out.
But boy-oh-boy did those Republicans take a stance after the fact. They issued a letter telling the public in no uncertain terms that they pledged to continue to support traditional marriage and the flag and apple pie. A strongly worded letter, mind you.
And there there was the scare that the Republicans in the Senate would revive that bill or some other bill to stick it to the gays. And, by golly, they found the perfect vehicle on which to attach an amendment protecting the sanctity of marriage: some House bill having to do with county administration.
But, darn it, it turns out to everyone’s surprise that the author of the bill in the House was a Democrat and a firm supporter of marriage equality. And he let it be known that he’d pull the bill if they did. So that just didn’t work out.
Well! Gosh! What a disappointment!
But let it be known that they did get one bill passed. And it was a real crowd-pleaser. Senate Bill 2065
A religious organization, an organization supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, an individual employed by a religious organization while acting in the scope of that employment, or a clergy or minister may not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage if the action would cause the organization or individual to violate a sincerely held religious belief.
Whew, what a victory. Now pastors don’t have to conduct gay marriages. And if the First Amendment to the US Constitution is ever repealed, Texas will have this bill right here protecting pastors from conducting sacraments contrary to their faith.
Of course, it’s all just window dressing. Meaningless gestures designed to keep the anti-gay rabble happy.
For, as we now know, the Texas Republicans in the legislature never intended to pass anti-gay legislation. Because as much as they love to wave the Lone Star Flag and quote the Bible, the legislators in Texas don’t answer to the religious right. They have an entirely different constituency.
Mark McKinnon, chairman of the GOP group Texas Wins, has a piece today in Politico Magazine explaining how Big Business in Texas came down squarely on the side of their gay employees. And no one can run for office these days without either Big Business or Big Union money.
The Lone Star State just wrapped its legislative session, which included two “religious freedom” constitutional amendments. Learning from what happened in the above states, industry groups and major businesses went out pre-emptively — let me say that again: pre-emptively — before such bills made it too far in the Legislature. The conservative state chamber of commerce, the Texas Association of Business, took the lead.
The amendments “would devastate economic development, tourism and the convention business,” said Bill Hammond, TAB’s CEO. “One has to look no further than Indiana to realize what a detriment this would be, and how hard it would be to sell Texas to the rest of the country. The Super Bowl [in Houston in 2017], the Final Four, all those things would be at risk in Texas if this were to become part of our Constitution.”
More than 250 Texas companies — American Airlines, Dell, Texas Instruments, Dow Chemical, the Dallas Mavericks — went on record with a general pledge in support of treating gay and transgender Texans fairly and equally under the law — and that welcoming and inclusive communities are essential to their bottom line.
Both amendments in the Texas Legislature died a quick death.
But boy has it been fun watching them all dancing a little sidestep and all the activist, right and left, swaying along to the music.
April 27th, 2015
Representative Cecil Bell Jr., one of Texas’ good ol’ boy Republicans, has a game plan as to how the Lone Star State is going to thwart the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States on same-sex marriage.
Passed by the House State Affairs committee on April 22, the bill would prohibit Texas from using state or local funds to license or recognize same-sex marriages. Even if a court issued “an order requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage license,” the bill states, officials would be barred from spending any money to do so.
Now suppose that the state passes this bill and SCOTUS rules for equality, as expected. What would Bell’s bill do?
First, it would not keep things as usual in Texas. Or certainly not for long.
When confronted by an obligation to provide same-sex couples with equal access – but to do so without spending extra funds – I expect that clerks will respond differently. Some will laugh at Bell’s bill, noting that state legislation does not outrank the US Constitution.
Others, maybe most, will just shut down shop until the courts toss this nonsense. Yay, Bell, marriage for no one. That’ll show them.
And there will undoubtedly be some brave soul with little brains and lots of faith who will proudly wave their flag of bigotry and defy the courts. But this will be a violation of civil rights as determined by the US Supreme Court. Which means the active involvement of the Justice Department. And federal judges. And sanctions. And maybe even jail.
And sure Bell will “win” if winning means grandstanding, and “martyrs”, and causing a stink. And, yes, people will hate each other and dig in their heels, and life will be less comfortable for everyone.
But marriage equality is coming to Texas. And there is nothing that Cecil Bell Jr. can do to stop it.
January 9th, 2015
Today the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing argument on three marriage equality cases, separately, one from each of Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. First in line was Robicheaux vs Caldwell, the case from Louisiana.
The Fifth Circuit panel consists of two Reagan appointees (Jerry Smith and Patrick Higginbotham) and an Obama appointee (James Graves). It was known, going in, that Smith was not sympathetic with the notion that gay people hold the same constitutional rights as heterosexuals and that Graves favored equality. The wild card was Higginbotham.
We cannot, of course, know the outcome until it is determined and announced. However observers are reporting good news from the Louisiana hearing. Higginbotham joined Graves in expressing skepticism towards the arguments presented by the state and those who were there are predicting victory.
UPDATE: the oral arguments have been made available here
June 20th, 2014
Rick Perry’s comments last week comparing gays and lesbians to alcoholics has elicited quite a few headslaps and groans across the political spectrum. Sane people see it as just another example of Texas-style ignorance and insanity, and even some Texas Republicans are wishing that he hadn’t opened his big mouth. And few are trying to step away from the recently-approved Texas GOP platform endorsing sexual orientation change therapy. All of this has threatened to derail that re-boot of the Republican Brand ahead of the 2014 and 2016 elections. Texas GOP chairman Steve Munisteri, in particular, sees the danger:
But he did address the inclusion of reparative therapy in the platform, saying he doesn’t believe you can convert a LGBT individual to a heterosexual by simply talking to them.
“And I just make the point for anybody that thinks that may be the possibility: Do they think they can take a straight person to a psychiatrist and turn them gay?” Munisteri said.
Munisteri said he’s not the only one who opposes this plank in the party’s platform.
“My emails and phone calls to the office are running overwhelmingly opposed to that plank in the platform,” Munisteri said.
Ministeri describes the parliamentary maneuver that allowed the platform to be approved with the conversion therapy plank in place and says that there is no way to tell if a majority of Republicans statewide actually support the conversion therapy plank.
Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Perry’s handlers in his totally-not-running-for-Presidential campaign have apparently had a sit-down with him and have gotten him to see that his remarks weren’t going to win him any votes:
I got asked about an issue, and instead of saying, ‘You know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country, and get back to talking about, whether you’re gay or straight you need to be having a job, and those are the focuses I want to be involved with,’ instead of getting — which I did, I readily admit, I stepped right in it,” he said.
June 12th, 2014
Texas Gov. Rick Perry was in San Francisco, totally not running for President (wink, wink!) at the Commonwealth Club. He was asked about the Texas Republican Party’s endorsement of ex-gay therapy, which California has banned for minors. (That law is currently being challenged in Federal court.)
In response to an audience question about it Wednesday night, Perry said he did not know whether the therapy worked. Commonwealth Club interviewer Greg Dalton then asked him whether he believes homosexuality is a disorder.
“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry said. “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”
June 12th, 2014
That’s Jeremy Joel, who Cathie Adams credits for the idea. Adams is President of the Texas Eagle Forum who spearheaded the effort to get the state Republican Party to endorse ex-gay therapy in its 2016 platform. Joel founded an ex-gay group called Joel 2:25 International, and Lone Star Q provides a roundup of his story:
In another post that includes the packet he sent to GOP delegates proposing the platform amendment, Joel discusses how he became an activist against bans on reparative therapy for minors like those that have passed California and New Jersey.
“Reparative Therapy and this type of ministry work played a significant role in saving my life and I have been blessed to help many others over the past four years,” Joel writes. “Recently though, this ministry work has been under attack across the country and in some states Republican legislators and Governors have been silent or complicit in passing these laws.”
According to an interview posted on YouTube, Joel lived an active gay life for about six years. He had two long-term relationships and attended a gay church but remained religiously conflicted and dissatisfied. In 2009, he sought treatment from California psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, a founder and former president of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).
Nicolisi referred Joel to an ex-gay retreat called Journey Into Manhood, which he says reduced his same-sex attraction by 50 percent in one weekend.
Joel claims that his group has 400 members in 37 countries thanks to Skype. He also told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram that he thinks his idea has been overly hyped by both sides. Nevertheless, he’s happy with the platform plank as it stands:
Jeremy said the Republican platform amendment was much like the original version he took to Cathie Adams, president of Texas Eagle Forum.
The final version characterizes the therapy as “reparative” for patients “seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access.”
Jeremy said he is also glad that Republicans deleted other old platform language claiming that homosexuality “tears at the fabric of society” and blaming gays and lesbians for a “breakdown of the family.”
“We should never portray a hostile message about dividing people,” he said.
June 9th, 2014
About 10,000 Texas Republicans wrapped up their annual convention in Fort Worth this weekend to approve a new platform for the 2016 elections. Things looked promising at first, when the Dallas Voice reported that the party had stripped a statement from their proposed platform proclaiming: “We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”
Whatever good news that represented evaporated when a new plank on homosexuality surfaced:
Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin.
Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.
The Texas Republican Party approved that platform over the weekend.
The enshrinement of ex-gay therapy into the official agenda of the Texas Republican Party goes against the recommendations of every legitimate mental and medical health professional organization in America, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the American School Counselors Association.
The platform also opposes same-sex marriage, as well as “the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married.”
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.